Cintiqs: A period of adjustment?

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Nick
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Cintiqs: A period of adjustment?

Post by Nick » Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:57 am

Hey folks,

I've been given a 20wsx cintiq to use at work. I've been using it for just over a day, so it's still pretty early but so far I've spent most of my time biting my lip and cursing quietly under my breath. My previous setup was a 24inch dell screen (now relegated to email...and forum posting) and a Intuos3 A4; which is an identical setup to what i have at home.

I feel bad, because i feel i should be enjoying this, but i'm not. I guess it's just getting used to a new work flow as the one i had before was very efficient.

My problems are this. The average screen quality, it has that slightly crystalline look TFT's used to have. This might have something to do with the protective covering, i'm not sure.

The lag between the movement of your pen and the cursor. It must only be a millisecond or two, but it's really noticeable. The poorly placed touch strip which seems to sit awkwardly between the two sets of buttons. The fact the pen sits about 5mm above the screen, so the pen and the mark it makes are disassociated from one another. The fact that i now have a screen barely a foot away from my face, which makes it difficult to take in the whole image at once, making me focus more on micro than macro.

The one thing I do like is that i can rotate the screen to draw arcs.

I know i'm lucky to have the chance to try one out, but i'm looking for thoughts from people who also have one. How long did it take you to adjust? Do you honestly think it's better or is it a change just for the sake of change? Am i looking to a long period of adjustment?

Thanks for reading, i look forward to hearing other peoples experiences.
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campy22
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Post by campy22 » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:58 am

i had one for a few days...hated it...gave it to the girl sitting at the next station. She didn't like it either but kept it for the screen size.
In my case, I'm so used to animating with a wacom that actually drawing on the screen slows me down.

Some people love them, some , a few percentage, don't.

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Nick
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Post by Nick » Sat Jun 21, 2008 2:12 am

Hey Campy,

Thanks for the reply ^_____^ I guess there’s a period of adjustment to be had, and I guess I have to get over the frustration that a tool is now impeding my ability to do my job. I’ll keep with it for a couple of weeks, but I’m still not convinced.

I’ve tried sitting at all kinds of angles to get the best out of it; some resulting in something akin to tennis elbow. The problem with where I work is that there are a lot of overhead lights, so it’s glare-tastic, I joked about working with an umbrella up; though I was actually half considering it >____>

I don’t know when it suddenly became a good thing to work 12inches from a screen and I think a tool that requires you to compensate with your body, perhaps by holding unnatural postures can’t be a positive in the long term.

I’ll keep an open mind as much I can and slog on. I guess the one good thing is that I no longer feel like I’m missing out and I no longer feel I need to consider living off a diet of beans on toast in order the save up for one ;)
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Kazu
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Post by Kazu » Sat Jun 21, 2008 4:16 am

I find the Cintiq to be very helpful for specific situations (like coloring my comics), but I like the tablet more for looser, more organic pieces (like the Flight covers). So, why not have both? I have the Cintiq and an Intuos3 tablet hooked up to my computer, and I switch between them all the time. :D
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Nick
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Post by Nick » Sat Jun 21, 2008 6:39 am

That’s an interesting idea, I’ll have to see if I can keep hold of my work Intuos for a while longer. When I received the Cintiq I was literally mobbed by ravenous artists hungry for my equipment :P I’ll see if I can squirrel it away.

Good point about the differing wacoms being appropriate for different tasks. Makes a lot of sense, considering that’s exactly the approach we’d use with traditional media; somewhere along the line I’ve obviously moved into a ‘one size fits all’ mindset with regards to digital tools.

I’ve noticed that doing general line work on the Cintiq seems to be more fluid for me, but I prefer an Intuos for painting.
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Sarah Mensinga
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Post by Sarah Mensinga » Thu Jun 26, 2008 2:22 pm

I also have both the cintiq and intuos hooked up to my computer. For me, it was the frustration of never being able to have my laptop screen match my cintiq when it came to color/contrast, so I switch back and forth, especially when painting.

I do like my cintiq, but I hope when it finally bites the dust and I have to replace it that there will be a cheaper better option. That lag time bugs me too. :)
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[adam]
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Post by [adam] » Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:09 pm

I gotta say that after using a Cintiq, I never really looked back at my old Wacom tablet. Granted, I was using a Graphire 4, so there wasn't much real estate to work with, but at the same time, using a Cintiq just felt far more natural to me.

I've animated 2 films: one with the Graphire, and one with the Cintiq. After using each, the Cintiq just seemed to outdo the Graphire in most aspects. I gained WAY more control on my in betweens. I was able to get some great detail in places that I normally struggled in, or spend the afternoon tapping ctrl+z till it looked right. I think just my overall line quality and production value doubled over what I was getting with the Graphire.

That being said though, it sounds like after reading all of your responses that you all had already established a happy relationship with your tablet before the Cintiq, and to me, I was never fully committed to the Graphire, so I guess that transition was a welcomed one.

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Nick
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Post by Nick » Sat Jul 05, 2008 9:42 am

Thanks for all your input. You make a good point about the colour/contrast setup Sarah, I noticed when I switched back and forth between monitors that my work looked more garish on traditional flatscreens, so I’ve done all I can to compensate for that.

Yeah adam I think you’re right, people who’ve had trouble adjusting to wacoms instantly feel a greater affinity with the cintiq and because I’ve worked with the Intuos virtually everyday for the last 4 years it all came as abit of a shock.

Now comes the hard part; despite all my grumbling, belly aching and general bitching, I now actually rather like the cintiq…*sigh* okay I like it a lot >___>, so much so I’ve ordered one for myself. I got over the lag by ignoring everything but the mark I was making and like you say Adam, it’s much easier to achieve the line work you’re after.

Damn you Cintiq! You’ve converted me and made me spend money! *shakes fist*
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[adam]
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Post by [adam] » Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:23 pm

ha-HA! Another has converted. Welcome to the good life baby...

*quietly takes a handful of money under the table from Wacom representative*

:D

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Joe Shig
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Post by Joe Shig » Thu Oct 23, 2008 4:33 pm

Hey Nick, I was trawling the boards for a thread just like this, as my Intuos 3 just died and now I'm thinking about getting a Cintiq. Prices have just come down here in Aus, and I spoke to a Wacom rep and he tells me that they've just received a shipment in with damaged boxes so he can knock off an extra few hundred dollars for me (he assures me that the units themselves are undamaged).

Anyway, I wanted to ask you (and other forum members, if they feel inclined to respond), how are you liking the Cintiq now, a few months on? How long was the "adjustment" period from the Intuos to Cintiq and are you still having any gripes about it?

Would love to hear other's thoughts on moving from Intuos to Cintiq. Despite the discount, it's still a lot of money for me, and I want to be as sure as I can about the purchase.
--Joe.

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Nick
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Post by Nick » Sat Oct 25, 2008 11:59 am

Hey Joe,

Yup i'm still using the Cintiq, I guess looking at my first post I've had it nearly 4 months...crikey times flown. Anyway to boil it right down I love it. I'm used to the new drawing position now so what little RSI I was having has gone, i was able to relocate to somewhere that doesn't reflect light directly into the screen (that's a big problem) so i can see what I'm drawing and most importantly I've adapted to the lag. I just focus on the marks i'm making, I totally ignore the fact I'm holding a pen.

Most people where I work like them, though a couple aren't convinced, so i'd recommend trying one if you can before you buy. If you can, buy a 20wsx or 21 as the 12incher has tracking issues and the screen quality is pretty poor for the price you're paying. With regards to the tracking issues it's more apparent on the 12 when you take the pen up to the edge of the screen, say for example to the menu tabs in photoshop and then it starts juddering around like a crazy thing. Anyone who's tried it at work has quickly put it back in its box.

I use the 20WSX which i like for the additional hotkey buttons that the 21 doesn't have, but one of the guys here has a 21 and the extra screen real-estate looks pretty tasty, I guess it depends whether you're a hotkey twitcher or not.

I think the cintiq is miles better for linework, it helps your confidence, for me it helps me tackle architecture (which i generally loathe) but for general painting it hasn't really made any difference to me. They've recently put me on windows Vista....now all i can say to that is RUN! RUN AWAY!...it's sooooo bad, I'm sure it's shaving years off my life.
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